Austin Kleon’s 33 thoughts on reading
Several design teams were asked to reinvent the bookshop:
Their analysis was stark: “Design on its own will not save the bookshop.” But Roberts was undaunted. “If you leave the model as it is and redecorate, nothing’s going to change. The solution needs to be much more fundamental: informed, strategic and daring.” The bookshop, as Gensler saw it, had to anticipate every sort of literary need, from grabbing a paperback or download, to relaxed browsing, personally tailored reading-lists, self-publishing, book clubs, author events and even an enhanced experience of reading a book in the bookish equivalent of a flotation tank.
Roberts and Tollit also produce diagrams showing the concept as “a kit of parts” to “plug in and play” according to location and audience. At a railway station, tl;dr might be just a download-and-vending wall. In a hipster neighbourhood such as Hoxton or Williamsburg, it might feel more like a club. “It can grow, shrink and respond to the way people are shopping the store or it could pop up elsewhere.” Putting a tl;dr vending machine at the end of Brighton Pier, for example, where it would sell “Brighton Rock”, and promote the nearest fully equipped store. (emphasis mine)
Let’s reinvent the bookshop via Intelligent Life
The increasing absence of physical books, records and photo albums in homes can negatively affect developing intellects.
So good: Ladybird books for adults.
Craig Mod: Digital books stagnate in closed, dull systems, while printed books are shareable, lovely and enduring
Contrast this with opening a Kindle book – there is no procession, and often no cover. You are sometimes thrown into the first chapter, sometimes into the middle of the front matter. Wherein every step of opening The Conference of the Birds fills one with delight – delight at what one is seeing and what one anticipates to come – opening a Kindle book frustrates. Often, you have to swipe or tap back a dozen pages to be sure you haven’t missed anything.
Love the design of the recently-reintroduced Pelican Books.
Umberto Eco’s How To Write A Thesis sounds delightful: despite having been published in the late 1970s, long before Microsoft Word, Evernote and the internet, and despite espousing the use of note cards and address books…
the book’s enduring appeal—the reason it might interest someone whose life no longer demands the writing of anything longer than an e-mail—has little to do with the rigors of undergraduate honors requirements. Instead, it’s about what, in Eco’s rhapsodic and often funny book, the thesis represents: a magical process of self-realization, a kind of careful, curious engagement with the world that need not end in one’s early twenties.
via The New Yorker